More of these videos continue to emerge, and they just keep getting better.
The Nineveh Plains Forces, a group of Christian citizen soldiers helping defend their homeland against ISIS, celebrated upon returning to their home town of Bartella, Iraq. The town is just north of Mosul and was recently liberated.
“Watch this, Daesh!” said one of the soldiers, as he made a cross out of the rubble and hoisted it onto the church. Daesh is the derogatory name locals in Iraq use to refer to ISIS.
Tears of joy flow from the soldiers faces as they are overcome with emotion at the moment. It’s been two years since citizens have been able to return to the hometown, having been decimated by ISIS.
The battle to clear ISIS from Mosul is, as expected, going to take some time. Top coalition commanders are now calling for patience as an overly aggressive campaign would likely result in more innocent civilian casualties. The Guardian reports:
Britain’s most senior commander in Iraq and Syria told politicians and diplomats to show patience in the battle to remove Islamic State from Mosul, despite Donald Trump’s pre-election demand that bombing against the terror group should be intensified.
Maj-Gen Rupert Jones said daily attacks on Isis had led to “an extraordinary amount of progress” in the last year, but warned that the jihadi group was defending the city vigorously and that it was necessary for the Iraqi security forces (ISF) to demonstrate restraint.
The deputy commander of the US-led international coalition in the region added: “What we have all got to then have is patience and what you want is the ISF to clear their way through the city in a deliberate manner.
“They could hard charge their way through the city and there would be an awful lot of civilian casualties but it has been really impressive to watch [Iraqi prime minister Haider al-] Abadi downwards really care about civilian casualties. Therefore, they are taking a deliberate manner and trying to minimise their own casualties.”